Midnight Rev Up 2022 Coverage

It’s that time of year again for our (JC and I) annual trip up to Edmonton to take part in the Midnight Rev Up Car show. It’s really only our second year but the way the MNRU treats and graces us with unbelievable hospitality makes it really feel like we’re family and that we’re right there with them the whole way through. I had the chance to judge again alongside Lito just like last year and it was an absolute blast. Having JC, Mark and Carlo providing insight and opinions make for a fairly thorough walkthrough – believe it or not. Lots of eyes on subjects makes things interesting and opens up a lot of doors for discussion and it’s definitely discussion worth having when you only have 10 cars to choose out of 160.

More on that later… MNRU continually sets a higher bar for themselves each year and it makes you wonder what they have up their sleeves for the next year. Putting on a show like this is not easy – the planning, the media and advertising, the logistics and so much more – gives me a headache just thinking about it. Then there is the MNRU team – last year they hosted it at the Edmonton airport inside two hangars. Just a really surreal place to be for a car show with helicopter tours and everything. This year was at the Edmonton EXPO center which really gave a Wekfest vibe with the industrial look and the bright white overhead lights. Wekfest has really set the standard here for car shows and even for me, personally. Several years ago, I attended the Chicago Wekfest and man, was I blown away. The set up, the quality, the smoothness of everything… Just what seemed like light years ahead of what we ever did here. Each car, placed well and spacing generous enough for photo ops and people-traffic. It doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you cram as many cars as you can into a space without screening them – you’re left with a big clusterfuck of so many things. I won’t go into that again for the millionth time, but the point is that MNRU is really breaking that barrier and/or stigma of a frustrating car show in a big way. The vibe is just so close and the EXPO center this year really helped to do that. Not to mention their custom steering wheels that they had for trophies, the MNRU x JTOONED collab shirt (which I am totally grateful and stoked for), MNRU slaps… It was the works on Saturday. It’ll take time but with good strides, it’ll get there – more people just need to come to see what it’s like.

We were sitting in the staff room for a bit before judging last night and Carlo was just talking about their vision and their wishes for next time, what they would change, their reflection on past shows – all before this current show was even over. Most of you reading this won’t know what goes on behind the scenes and my blogs really are just to provide that third-person view in as much of an unbiased view as I can. Reflecting on the efforts and the show while the show is currently in progress says a lot of things – 1) they are actively engaged and looking for opportunities – whether it’s right now or for next time. 2) the show is for you, the customer, first. “What can we do or what can be done next time so that it’s better?”. As we (JC, Kristin, and I) sat there quietly eating our dinner, all I could hear and feel is the energy coming from the conversation and that meant a lot to me – both as a spectator, participant, and judge. I wish everyone there last night knew that in the moment because it really made me feel proud to be at a show where quality is the top priority. I hope that reading those words made you feel the same because you really should. I know that it’s just a car show, but it’s really just been so long since we’ve had a good car show, know what I mean? It’s easy to go through the motions and enter as many car shows as you can/want, but when you’re at a good show, it’s a different vibe.

Anyway, I’ll talk more about the show as we go. This is gonna be a fairly lengthy post – about 226 pictures. I really tried to capture every car that I could and I think I got 99% of them. I don’t know all of you, but bravo for last night.

So begins our trip… We met at the edge of Calgary at 8AM to head out.

JC and Kristin sitting beside me. I decided to take the Type R this time over the Fit. The Fit is fun and cool and all, but it just isn’t fully show-worthy to me. Still a few things that are off that bug me and I thought the Type R would be fun to take on the trip this time.

I really love the car when you can see the wheels in the pic LOL

The Tunerdecals team showed up with Kelvin’s Varis FRS and Kevin’s Genesis. We decided to head up together since we were going to be in their booth.

Sitting pretty with the front lip all protected.

Same with Kevin’s Genesis.

A quick snap of JC on route…

When we got there, we had a quick lunch at Gyu Kaku… At the back of Kevin’s Genesis was the set of his rear wheels. He had some issues with the valve stems (I think?) so he couldn’t make the long distance with the rear wheels on and used stockies instead. Thought this was a cool shot.

We stopped at one of the most ghetto car washes I’ve ever seen – sorry Edmontonions – but no matter where we go in Edmonton, everything just seems ghetto LOLOL. It was $1 per minute, the pressure was as strong as my pee stream on a good day, and I wasted $4 to come out no different than when I came in. Ghe-Toeeeeeee.

The EXPO center was about 7 minutes away from here, so Kevin started taking off the tape to wash the car.

Looks clean when I edit it to look like this LOL

This some Driven-quality wheel cleaning though. Shietttt

The entrance to the car wash was kind of a weird angle and Kevin couldn’t get in straight on any of the bays. There was one right at the end where he had to angle in pretty hard and was hella close to the pole LOL

Made it in though…

Kelvin’s FRS also made it in with no issue.

En route…

Waiting outside the center before rolling in. Kevin was trying to change his rear wheels before heading in but the security guard didn’t like that, so we ended up having to do it right at the entrance of the center… There was literally no one in the lot, not sure why it was an issue lol.

See what I mean? Car wash did nada. lol $4 I’ll never get back. ((Yes, I’m cheap) No, I don’t care)

After a long ass time of basically having to clean the car twice and the humid arena (before HVAC was turned on), we finally got it all cleaned up. Lowkey jealous because JC had Kristin helping clean his car while I suffered on my own…

She did help with tire shine on my car though LOL – thanks Kristin.

The lighting is just chef’s kiss

The first time the Type R has been this clean in a long ass time. I always love shows for that reason…

Kevin and his Genesis cleaned up nicely and with the rear wheels back on.

Kelvin and his FRS also cleaned up nicel… Wait… Kelvin, did you miss a spot on your hood? Ah nvm… LOL (inside joke)… (Inside joke is that he ceramic coated his car and missed wiping a spot off so now he’s got a small hot spot and I’m going to make this the next trend where I spot people’s cars who missed wiping ceramic coat off LOOOL).

Truth be told though – it’s not that bad. I just saw that it bothered him a lot so me being the dude that I am is making a big deal about it.

White, white, red, red. Except JC the combo breaker with Work wheels. LOL

A few of the Kazoku guys joined the Tunerdecals group as well. Kenneth and his STI on TE37 Sagas…

Nathan and his widebody S14 and glitter paint sitting low on Work Meister 3PC…

Really loved the look and fitment of this…

Cusco/Bride on the inside…

Khail’s Civic Si Coupe ending the line up…

A red STI on Superspeed wheels in matte black

Corolla dumped right to the ground. I really got Mark X vibes from the way this was laid out. That VIP look.

Good fitment (clean wheels).

Focus ST Hatch also aired down nice and low…

Bagged CLA – I believe this was the same one from Driven Calgary…

Genesis coupe with a bunch of CF bits

This was the top pick for me at the show Saturday night. A full Junction Produce VIP van – just had the works… They went on to win one of the awards last night.

JP wheels and full AP Racing brakes front and back

JP interior, of course…

All the bedazzle and JDM flavour you could ask for…

The theme rolled to the rear, naturally…

XBOX and Sapporo…

Even the trunk was great. The diamond stitched mats all over were too good. Well done!

A really clean 10th gen Si on Gram Lights.

Not a car you see too often – in a really nice pale pink.

Marko’s STI hatch sitting down low in the Mkzer0 booth. That blue looks great.

Audi S4 on the coughbestcough brand tires you can get 🙂

135 on Rotiforms. I really loved the 1-series platform – a shame this didn’t take off much. I thought this was super clean.

Derek Harvey’s super clean 86. Lots of small little details on this that I’ve been able to follow through Instagram. The custom V-mount turbo and titanium fabrication. The incredibly meticulous wrap job… This was another one of our picks for the top 10.

The titanium piping – front and center and getting all the attention…

Small little details like the custom headlight air inlet cutout with carbon fiber lining the inside.

The EVS carbon mirrors were a great touch as well. I much prefer this look over the Craft Squares…

Another one of our picks for the top 10 was this mint E36 vert. I saw this last year at Driven Calgary and thought it looked fantastic. This time, I had some more time to take a closer look and my thoughts have not changed. The car is wrapped beautifully over a red paint – so you’d imagine that if spots were missed, it would be easy to see.

This was also in the Mkzer0 booth, so I expected no less on the wraps for the cars in this booth.

Beautiful engine bay with the go-mods to boot. Lito was also impressed with the engine and he’s not an easy guy to impress for under-the-hood mods.

Meticulously clean ESR’s. A perfectly complimented wheel design for this chassis and the yellow brembos peeking from behind. A really great build, for sure.

Purple glitter-wrapped widebody E82 sitting on some wide Heritage wheels in the Mkzer0 booth.

A pretty rare bodykit to see over here – the Liberal Addiction front bumper on this VAB STI. It’s extremely aggressive and totally a true JDM bodykit that only the brave can rock here.

An upclose of the bumper – really good fitment and paint job. I dig it.

HKS-equipped boost blue FK8 on ZE40’s in the First Gear booth.

Voltex GTR on Advan GT’s. No stranger to most of these shows… Check that dry carbon front lip.

Super clean Rallybacker widebody BRZ wrapped in a matte white.

I have to say – there were a lot of clean wheels at the show but this one had to take the cake for one of the best ones. I had to take a closer look. This guy needs to give lessons to everyone on how to clean wheels.

Another shot. Anyone who’s ever owned wheels with chrome lips or anything chrome, for that matter knows how much of a pain in the ass it is to keep them clean. This guy doesn’t even have any wipe marks or marring on them – they literally look like they rolled off the press. So good.

Voltex-equipped GR86 on Advan RG’s in the First Gear booth. I really love the look of these – even in their stock form. They look super clean.

From the rear – also super clean and sharp. Voltex wing and diffuser and an Amuse R1 exhaust to boot.

Brett’s Super clean WRX

Not sure of the widebody maker on this one, but probably the wildest VAB at the show sitting on ultra wide Cosmis Racing wheels.

Another less wild, but still aggressive Subie in the lineup and a sticker bombed hood underneath. Been a while since I’ve seen sticker bombed parts tbh

The same GC Subaru from Driven Calgary – recognizable from the intercooler text lol

Still clean though. I dig the choice of wheels too.

Really clean Raiu edition WRX. I love this colour.

The Voltex hawkeye STI on Advan GT’s froM First Gear. Also no stranger to the local shows.

Nissan Stagea/Skyline wagon

Sitting on the Nismo version of Gram Lights 57CR

Mark’s Voltex/ARC Evo X on Advan RG’s in the Racing Copper Bronze finish. Quite a unique colour!

A super clean 240SX in the First Gear booth…

Evo IX on TE37 OG’s…

GR STI Sedan on Work Meister 3PC’s

I always remember this one as well because of how clean he keeps his wheels too. I salute those of you that have chrome finishes because it’s such a pain to keep clean LOL

Fake Hero’s NSX

A fresh EP3 Type R – RHD and all.

Cool to see some clean SUV’s that weren’t 4Runners too LOL

On the other side of the Fake Hero booth was the Fake Hero AE86 – I still love this look and it should never change.

Tacoma on a pretty sick display in the Legit.Society booth

With TE37’s no less…

Pale pink Toyota MR2 in the Fake Hero booth.

Kris’s Varis widebody EVO X on TE37’s. Nice meeting you finally sir!

Sleeper status S2000 on BBS’s. I think this one is pushing 400ish hp?

This Varis STI is always a pleasure to see. Lots of good stuff on this…

Sitting on british racing green TE37’s.

An upclose of it. So clean!

I love the execution of the colours in this – lots of really bold colours that compliment each other so well.

FK8 sitting low on CE28’s

This was probably my favourite SUV at the show – R-Line Tiguan in a white silver metallic finish on Rotiforms. SO good.

@BagitoTV’s Seeker Civic. I was really excited to see this one in person as I’ve been seeing it unfold on Instagram over the last year or so. I even tooned this a few weeks ago for him – so seeing it in person was great. I had the chance to speak with him about it as well.

The car is not wrapped – it’s painted with a Tangerine Kandy. Not quite the same as the orange that Seeker used. His inspiration came from the muscle-car side of the car world and boy, does it work well here.

Leaving the carbon pieces exposed – staying true to the Seeker style. Even brand new FD2 headlights to fit the JDM theme. Looking forward to seeing this in the future as he plans to go full Seeker. The paint job was really well done as well – no orange peel, nicely polished and glossy.

Sitting on an aggressive set of TE37 Saga’s and FD2 Brembos behind. His FD2 was also one of our choices for the top 10. Well done.

This Miata was pretty wild. The engine was extremely well done and just super clean. I thought I had taken a picture of it but I guess I didn’t – sorry. Interior had zebra print and a whole bunch of other things going on. Great paint as well.

This 9th gen Civic was sitting static and low on these aggressive Work T5R 2Pc’s.

Actually kind of crazy how low and fitted this was. The stance look has been fading a bit and at one point, I was getting kind of tired of seeing it but when it’s well done like this, I can appreciaet it.

M2 sitting on Advan GT Beyond in Racing Copper Bronze. A really hard finish to capture nicely…

An upclose of the finish – but still not true to real life. It has a small spectrum of different hues in person depending on the light.

A car that I’ve probably never seen at shows – the elusive Mitsubishi Eclipse. Maybe the only time we’ve seen it was in 2Fast 2Furious? This one was pretty clean though for the Ghost Gang booth.

86 in track mode.

NSX on Advan GT’s

Blobeye STI in the Ghost Gang booth.

Super wide EVO X in the Ghost Gang booth.

Boost blue FK8 on Gram Lights, Mugen-kitted and a Voltex wing out back.

FK8 on TE37’s

Green-wrapped Civic Si on Gram Lights. The “Spoon” caliper covers in red were a bit much for me otherwise it was fairly clean.

Pretty rare to see a clean TSX/Accord these days…

Lots going on with this BRZ at the show that night. A pretty wild sound system – almost rivaling the actual DJ booth…

Birdy’s Streethuner Supra…

Roel’s Varis FK8 sitting on Champ White CE28’s in the Garage111 booth. Roel went on to win one of the awards that night as well.

VAB STI sitting down low on TE37’s with Garage111.

Birdy’s Rallybacker/Aimgain widebody FRS

R35 siting on TE37’s

Daniel’s rally EVO X – no stranger to the shows now either with the infamous titanium-clad engine bay. I’m pretty sure he has everything that could be made into titanium in his engine bay.

Some shots for the bling factor

Even the valve cover – looks to be carbon fiber with the titanium gradient finish on it.

Side pieces are even titanium…

Strut bar, caps, covers, you name it – he’s got it…

John’s Mugen RR FD. No introduction needed as I covered that in my Driven Calgary post.

Varis Widebody EVO X sitting on new Volk 21C’s in bronze. I believe he was on Work wheels before. Would love to see if there’s anything done to the engine on this one – but aesthetically, I love the execution.

Rocket Bunny FRS – I believe this is the poster car for Garage 111. Crazy, the words Rocket Bunny were coming out of everyone’s mouths at one point and now it’s just gone. Nice to see this one well-executed.

On some bronze Volk TE37V’s too

Varis-kitted FK8 on Advan GT’s. I really liked how this looked – the colour scheme, the paint work… Fairly clean. The only thing that caught my eye was the hardware used in the center to hold the lip together. I’m not sure what happened there, but it looked like generic non-automotive hardware and it just stood out to me.

Don’t get me wrong – it still looked really good. Just swap those bolts out to titanium or a lower key black chrome and it would be Gucci.

This really rad Datsun 280Z – a really cool Japanese-inspired theme with a steel-esque look to it.

Under the hood was also a treat… This Datsun went on to be one of our selections for the top 10.

R35 with a Voltex Swan neck and Advan GT’s in the Mercari Auto booth

Another R35 on work wheels and Voltex goodies

Super clean Honda S2000 in all white in the Invision Auto booth

BRZ on Gram Lights

Jiahao’s Evo IX Wagon with Voltex goodies. Always nice to see this one at shows.

Berry’s Varis Widebody FRS on TE37V’s.

Cleaned his wheels too. LOL

Jason Choi’s R34 GTR V-Spec II on TE37’s

As usual, Invision Auto had their Bride seat display out for spectators to try out.

Peter Luu’s FRS – classy as always.

JDM Odyssey in the Mercari booth. I love these things. I’m sure you guys all know that by now lol

VAB STI in the Invision Auto booth on Volk 21C’s. Probably the car with the best fitment in the show IMO…

Low. Tight. Perfect fenders.

So good. I really love these wheels and love that many people are starting to jump on them over the much-loved TE37’s. (I still like TE37’s, but I think I just have a little TE37 fatigue lol)

This Porsche was another one of the top picks for the show. Obviously really hard to tell but it’s K-swapped and totally rad.

Caged, Brides… All colour coordinating…

SSR’s – an iconic pick for Porsche’s 🙂

Out in the back you can kind of see the engine set up but not much more.

A closer look… This thing sounds crazy too

Close up of the wing and the carbon stands…

Chameleon/gradient wrapped S4

Evo X on some aggressive CE28’s

John Velasco’s Supra on ZE40’s

Super classy

M4 with aggressive aero

Voltex swan neck out back

Another shot of Mark’s Evo X from the rear quarter

Shawn Zhang’s bagged WRX in a new pink wrap

This slammed VIP 7-Series. I love it.

Louis V inspired floormats

Closer look…

Meticulous and super nice paint. (Not wrap)

Bagged S5 in the custom decals booth

370Z on Advan RG’s

Ya’ll know what I think about this…

Teejay’s G35 on Work T5R 2P’s

Another Evo X on ZE40’s.

Fuschia-wrapped WRX

This K-swapped 240SX. I believe this is drifted regularly too…

A work in progress – I’m unsure though if this is a new swap or if they’re just making changes and were unable to complete in time for the show.

A very subtle pearlescen-wrapped 3-series

Another clean 240SX on Enkei RPF1’s

1JZ under the hood. Correct me if I’m wrong – this is another car that is regularly used for drifting. So good.

’88 Soarer!

MK3 Supra

Purple-wrapped 240SX. Loved this trio of clean 240’s.

A really nice colour choice for a wrap on this BRZ. It’s like a light jade metallic – reminds me a little of Millenium Jade Green. I really liked it – worked super well with the pink Heritage cherry blossom wheels.

Close up of the wheel design. I dig.

AE86 equipped with ITB’s

Close up of said ITB’s…

Matte red and dumped. This was super clean.

Great wheel choice too.

Dunn’s bagged 9th Gen SI. I’m sure a familiar site for most of you – I’ve covered this many times in previous posts… Sounds like he has some changes up his sleeve for the next year. We’ll see!

Those headlights are my fave.

WRX with APR exterior goodies on Superspeed wheels

4Runner and Tacoma faceoff. Good display idea.

8th Gen SI with a Mugen RR front and aggressive Work T5R

Prelude on RPF1’s

Rear shot of Daniels’ EVO X

Bossman Carlo’s (AKA Simba) M3 on TE37’s.

Some of you might have seen the story of his wheels and how dirty they were and @BagitoTV swiped his forehead with the brake dust – reminiscent of the scene in Lion King. LOL

Trung’s S2000 on TE37’s

Nismo 370Z sitting low on Gram Lights 57’s

VAB STI on TE37’s

Tiegan’s anime/Nero-wrapped FK8. Lots of little details on here that really stood out from basically the rest of the show. Tiegan went on to win one of the top 10 for those little details…

One of the details that flow throughout the car is the use of the forged carbon with gold flakes – from the engine cowl cover, to the hood, to the interior trim and steering wheel.

Nero statue front and center

Probably even the most unique wheels at the show as well – with the heart-shaped spokes in gold with a black lip. I know she spent a painstakingly amount of time cleaning these too – I was bound to come through LOL

A rare wingless Evo X

Bagged GR STI Hatch

Mazdaspeed 3 on RPF1’s

Another Mazdaspeed 3…

This Miata sitting in the corner looking real clean on Work CR01’s

One of the decals that Tunerdecals debuted at the show as this one. A little backstory on this – if anyone is interested…

Over 2.5 years ago when I first got my iPad, I had created an image similar to this just for fun and then I just forgot about it. Kelvin found it a few months ago and asked if he could revive it into a “clean your barrels” sticker for this show. It ended up turning out great – with the use of spot holographic and a littler verbiage on the other part of the tire. You can get these currently at the Otaku Drive website – I have them for purchase as well – but only in person. My online store is currently offline.

Evo X with Voltex goodies on TE37’s. Side note – this show was FULL of Evo’s and STi’s – it was crazy.

Anotehr yellow-wrapped Evo X with some Voltex/Varis.

Genesis sitting low and wide…

350Z on Work Meister 3PC’s

Nismo 370Z on TE37’s

Clean FK7 on Gram Lights

Which stud owns this? God damnnnnn… Mugen FK8 on Smoked Black Advan GT’s

Close up of the (clean) wheels and AD08R’s. I’m going to go on and talk more about my own car cause I can – the Smoked Black finish was a limited finish. The only way to tell is that the spoke has the engraving vs the regular sticker. The smoked black finish up close has a very small hint of gold flake on it – but you have to look closely. Cause I’m extra. OK thanks – that’s all.

A shot of the rear that I rarely take pics of…

FK8 with Mugen front and rear and a Voltex Type 5 out back.

Another Evo X with a red/black theme

A pale army green-wrapped BRZ with RB flares and aero pieces.

This was pretty clean. Looked like they were trying to go for the Midori green look – but still nice overall.

8th gen SI Sedan on Gram Lights…

That ends the coverage of the show… From this pic on are just extra snaps that I ended up taking and thought were worth sharing. The front end shot of the mint e36.

Cholo going around taking his coverage shots. Peep his newly designed shirt that he just dropped. He’s a genius when it comes to combining automotive-themed shirts and other elements. The last one was Sushi and TE37’s and this one is Pizza and the Mugen steering wheel. So good.

The Duo.

Last but not least. I didn’t want to but I was convinced otherwise… I thought we were past this point by now but at the same time, I can’t tell if this was a troll. Either way, I couldn’t help but notice that not only was there no effort into cleaning, but if you’re advertising detailing services – wouldn’t you want your wheels to be clean?

I dunno… Seems odd to me. I think this was the c-c-c-combo breaker of the night lol. The only one with dirty wheels in the whole show – I had high hopes it was gonna be a perfect score that night too LOL. Oh well…

Fast forward to Sunday morning – we fueled up and headed back home ASAP. We needed to get those gas station shots…

Though it wasn’t a really nice gas station LOL. Damn it Edmonton!

That’s it, that’s all, folks! Great job again to the MNRU team for putting on another great show. Thanks for having us! See you guys next year!

PS – let’s aim for 100% clean wheels for 2023 LOL!

Midnight Rev Up 2021 Coverage

So I finally got around to doing the photos and write up for Midnight Rev Up from last Saturday – I’m usually done photos and the whole shebang in a day but you know… #dadlife LOL. Anyway, this is gonna be a big one – 200+ photos all in one. I typically break these out into parts but let’s just get it all over with.

This would be my first Midnight Rev Up show that I’ve attended as it is up in Edmonton and to be quite honest, I don’t think I recall ever doing a show in Edmonton… So technically this is my first one ever. Don’t quote me on that though – I’m getting old. Last month Carlo messaged me and asked if I would be interested in guest judging at the show and they were kind enough to pay for accommodation if I accepted. I’m not one to refuse free things (most of the time) and I thought it would be a good opportunity to finally see what Edmonton had to offer. I mean, lots of the Edmonton guys come down to Calgary for our shows and I get the chance to see them here, but for the ones that stay local, it was a fresh sight to see. I asked JC to come along as we were going to be in the Tuner Decals booth to help represent them!

The guys that organize Midnight Rev Up kind of have a similar mindset to illmotion in terms of putting a show together – minimal fees to cover costs here and there, a screening process for participants, space organization and most importantly – just a place to gather all the best cars under one (in this case, two) roofs and have visitors come and spectate. It’s lowkey but it’s tight knit and I truly enjoyed the atmosphere. They try to use different and unique venues each year and this one was pretty awesome to attend as it was in the executive hangers by the Edmonton International Airport. Honestly, not something I would’ve thought of doing because I would’ve assumed it was just off limits for anyone but they did it!

As this was my first time attending the event, I didn’t know what to expect but in the days leading up to it, I was kind of developing somewhat high expectations and I was eager to see what it was all about. I would say that I was pleasantly surprised at the level of quality and workmanship in the cars that came to the show. I can finally say it – hallelujah – I think we’re finally out of that phase of wild chassis mount wings on stock cars and fake stuff flooding the show floor. Of course, we’ll never be rid of it but it’s so rare to see (did I just say that?) lately that it just brings a tear to my eye sometimes. It becomes even harder to judge now because you’re not just judging on the level and quality of parts, but you can now bring it to the next level of execution and detail. I’ve said it many times before and I’ll say it again – anyone can buy expensive and real JDM parts for the clout but if you slapped it on there with not a care in the world, then you’ve done no justice to the parts you just spent a fortune on…

Last note before we move onto the pictures – I just want to say that I think it’s both hilarious and amazing at how many clean wheels AND barrels were at the show on Saturday. It’s been this inside joke for most of the summer that everyone is doing barrel checks and tagging on me on Instagram and it’s slowly made it’s way basically across the internet and some of you that I’ve never even met in person because you’re 1000’s of miles away are cleaning your barrels and it’s fucking amazing LOL. Many of you have been asking why this has become a thing and honestly it wasn’t really meant to even become a “thing”. Long story short – a few years ago at a show, I just happened to notice a car with wheels that had not been cleaned and pointed it out on my blog – no names were mentioned and I still won’t because that doesn’t matter – the point that I was trying to make was that if you’re entering a show, please make it “show ready”. I was asked to take it down eventually but by then, the whole internet had read it and well, you know how the cookie crumbles… Now everyone just jokes that if I’m coming to a show/meet, everyone better clean their barrels or else you’ll be called out and well… Everyone now cleans their barrels LOL! You guys kill me but it’s so honestly refreshing and awesome to see people starting to care about details like that…

I’ll keep the chatter to a minimum for now and talk as we move through the post to keep it from getting dry. The journey begins…

*Usual disclaimer – these are ALL the photos I took. Please don’t ask if I got a shot of your car. If you were sitting in it, standing by it, repping too hard, or your crew was too excited to sit back and relax – that’s probably why I didn’t get a shot. Maybe next time 🙂

9AM in the morning, JC came over to my place and we rolled out.

Just a little over 2 hours to get there. Not terrible compared to my 10.5 hour drive back from Vancouver just a few weeks prior. Don’t mind the dirty interior… I cleaned it when I got there 🙂

It was raining in Calgary unfortunately so our cars were still messy. No point in really cleaning it anyway even if it weren’t raining…

We arrived pretty quickly and hit up Poor Boys wash in Leduc. Gave the cars a quick spray and then saved the rest of the cleaning for when we got to the show.

Also – ceramic coated cars FTW. Update on the CarPro SiC coating as well – this is my first wash since I’ve coated it and it was amazing. Water beads like crazy – I would say it rivals UK 3.0 + Gliss in hydrophobic qualities… Unfortunately, I can’t comment on longevity yet.

We got inside one of the two hangars… Lots of nice white light and white flooring…

JC right behind…

While waiting for some other displays to set up, I may as well take some more photos…

The boys putting on a Tuner Decals windshield sticker for the show…

I had applied Rain-X a few weeks ago as well as topped it with CarPro Elixir at the show which made it pretty difficult to install the banner since it didn’t want to stick LOL.

JC brought the whole CarPro artillery to the show…

You can’t see it all here but he’s got pretty much the whole line up and is only missing a few products like FlyBy and MFX… Thankful for his collection. I definitely needed some for the show.

Just some random shots of the booths getting set up… Sometimes it’s best to take photos before the doors open because it’s less hectic. I try to wait until the last minute to start taking photos because sometimes booths are not fully set up or placed yet.

A few shots of the Tuner Decals collections as well as some new releases. They have been going HAM this year with attending as many shows as they can to showcase their decals and art and they’ve done really well for themselves in the last year. I kind of had the opportunity to watch them start and grow and they’ve helped me start up JTOONED as I mentioned in previous posts so it’s a mutual growth. It’s rare to see decal companies also hustling with their own art and these guys kill it on both ends. If you have ever gotten a chance to see their anime-inspired art and have an appreciation for it, you’d understand what I mean – just phenomenal original artwork you don’t find anywhere else.

I find that it’s really difficult to find truly original artwork. Lots of other peekers are often just taking a tracing of the actual original art, they add some different colors or effects and call it their own. Not a bad thing, but it doesn’t set you apart from the thousands of others also doing it.

They just released these chibi car keychains, and other decals as well.

As always, honored to have my spread on their table too! Note – I had some questions for people asking to buy these but I don’t have a storefront currently. This inventory is Tuner Decals’ and not mine. You’d have to go to a show to get them 🙂

Our registration package…

Lito’s Datsun and rebuilt engine. Lito joined us later to help with the judging process to give his insight and knowledge on the engine part of the builds. Oldschool Datsun’s are too cool – always awesome to see people restoring them.

The turd. This thing is so fun to drive on the highways – it keeps up decently well LOL

Before the crowds came…

JC’s IS shining bright like a diamond with the whole CarPro catalogue on the car lol

This AE86 from Fake Hero parked next to the Fit. Such a sweet and nostalgic build. This one went on to win the award of “Unicorn” for the night. It was a fitting award since it’s rare to see an AE86 nowadays as most people seem to be obsessed with S-chassis’s and EK/EG/S2000’s. The condition it was in was a treat.

TE37V’s – these are a nice choice for the classic-era cars. A modern touch but still keeping in line with the classic look of wheels such as Watanabe’s.

Bride KING’s…

Fully gutted interior and an interesting choice of interior fabric paneling – it’s tough to see here but I believe it was just a bunch of trees – looked like a forest.

BI Inspection passed.

One of my personal favourites – partially biased because of my past FRS but the reason I really loved this one was because of the RS series Ignition silver colour. The best way to describe it is a pearlescent silver with some hints of blue and purple – kind of like FK8 sonic grey but 1000000x better. LOL

Some deep dish SSR’s sitting under there as well.

Rear of the RB FRS

Varis kitted Evo X. Edmonton peeps love their Varis Evo’s and you’ll see why in a little bit… Lots of these guys belong to Legit Society and nothing but crazy full builds come from them. Pretty insane lol

Another one of the top contenders for awards was this Varis Evo X on Advan R6’s… Fully gutted with a full interior…

Engine bay blinged out with ARC and Carbing titanium.

I always wanted that titanium bar but never got around to it because everytime I was ready to pull the trigger, I always told myself I could get something better that could be seen LOL. But hella jealous…

Enzzo’s Evo 9 wagon on bronze ZE40’s. Super clean

Some Ralli-Art goodies

Flip up with Voltex steering wheel

FK7 on Gram Lights and a J’s grill. I can’t remember if that’s a new addition or not – I just noticed it in the show…

Raf’s bagged Subaru STI on ZE40’s – shouldn’t be a stranger to the blog at this point

Another Varis Evo X on bronze TE37 Sagas

Tristan’s Varis WRX hatch on Kiwami’s

Good job on the barrels sir…

Next up were these two Silvia’s – possibly the two favourites for myself and JC. I would argue that these were two of my top favourites of the show – from execution, to details, to overall build. Just magnifico!

Work Equips on the first Silvia with wheels so clean you could eat off of them.

Perfect fitment.

Amazing work on the engine

And the part that stood out most was the inner part of the engine tub was painted differently than the rest of the car. It might be hard to see but there’s some red sparkle/flake on the inside while the exterior was a full black with no flake. Also the fact that it was painted was awesome. I can only count a few S-Chassis in this condition that have full paint and not wrap.

Vick’s Silvia right beside it was also another top contender and ended up winning one of the top 10 awards of the night. This was a tough one because there was just so much we could go back and forth on but we chose this unanimously at the end of the day.

Great paintwork and fitment on the body panels

Awesome attention to detail in the engine with titanium goodies and tons of HKS bling…

Chasing J’s titanium pieces

Blue Bride interior – which you don’t see to often – but flow perfectly with the Cusco cage and Takata harnesses.

Rear end looking just as clean.

HKS fuel rail and oil cap

And one last front end shot… Perfection. Well done!

Travis’s Mode Parfume LS430. My first time seeing this in person and it looks great. Super aggressive static fitment and sitting nice and low.

Lots of negative camber as expected for a static VIP build and sitting real close to the fenders.

Of course we need the Junction Produce goodies

That rear fitment tight.

Right beside it was this 2JZ Aristo on SSR’s. Super clean paint and fitment – nice engine work and correct me if I’m wrong – but we thought we noticed the paint was kind of a purple gradation (dark purple fading to a lighter purple) but we only quickly saw it when it was rolling out. Were our eyes deceiving us or is that true? Cool effect if it was!

Another Varis Evo X wrapped in yellow.

Compared to many of the builds we’ve seen up till now – this S2000 was on the rather tame side. Reminicent of the 2008-2010 show days. Super clean.

This 370z has seen better days but all patched up with some zip ties on Advan GT’s…

Berry’s bagged Varis widebody FRS looking clean as always

Engine work to go with the aesthetics

Also good job on the wheels – I didn’t get to check them at Driven YYC but they were up to snuff here 🙂

One of the newer mods I saw Berry do was this fiber optic headliner which turned out pretty rad! I loved it!

Another shot – must look so cool at night.

GTR R35 in the Mercari booth

The 2nd Evo 9 wagon in the Mercari booth…

Mercedes AMG GT wrapped in a chrome green…

Guess which car this is if you haven’t scrolled too far down LOL

Fucking sick right?! hahaha I’ve seen this at shows before but I never saw it with the hood open…

Got the VIP reclining seats and footrests too

John’s Supra looking clean as hell. I dig the Voltex Swan neck on this thing

on Advan GT’s – AKA StillTheBestWheelAndBetterThanTheTE37

Another MK5 Supra on candy red TE37’s but don’t hate me because of the previous comment. I still think it looks good LOL

Both of them together…

STI on Advan’s…

The Invision booth had a set up of Bride seats for people to try out – which I did, of course – then I immediately hopped out and walked away because I know what would’ve happened if I stayed too long.

It was nice meeting the Invision duo in person and chatting for a bit!

The rear of John’s Supra and Voltex wing…

Peter Luu’s track FRS on ZE40’s. Still looks just as good…

Interior with the obvious JDM BOSS Coffee…

Bride Low Max’s

Front shot with TRD parts! You did good on your BI check as well, my man. Could definitely eat sushi off of them. Oh, and sorry about ruining your announcement for your new baby girl last week – don’t lick her toes. Do love her though LOL.

Pic below for reference so that everyone gets it. In my defense, this guy is literally always trolling my posts so I thought this time was no different but I was wrong…

Lexus IS on Work Meister’s

Hawkeye STI on CE28’s. Invision – ya’ll need to check these barrels. I had no tickets to hand out on Saturday but I’m coming for you next time…

370Z on TE37 Sagas begging for a drop. But love the color combo…

STI in the Mercari booth – I want to say this is one of the only (if not THE only) one with this bumper on it. I just can’t recall the name of the bumper. Reminds me a bit of Black Pearl Complete – they make kits for VIP cars…

Pretty crazy sleeper 86…


Another Evo X from Legit Society on Work Meisters

ARC Intercooler

Super clean wheels…

Gerard’s Spoon EK. Such a great build overall – Spoon parts galore as expected. Unfortunately I didn’t get a front shot but it had a J Blood bumper and carbon lip.

Inside – I dig the yellow checkered floor mats. Spoon wheel, cluster and seats… Great job.

Gerard’s Full Spoon FK8. I don’t know why I didn’t put two and two together but both the EK and FK were both of his. I didn’t actually realize this until two of the awards were handed out later that night. Which is also a reminder that for judging – we’re not judging the people that own the cars – we’re judging THE CARS.

I thought it was worth mentioning this because there may be individuals that thought it might not have been fair or  it was rigged because this guy is friends with that guy and this guy knew the other guy and that’s why they won. Gerard just happened to own two of top 10 cars that we found and if he happened to own all 10 of the top 10 cars, we would’ve given it to those cars. I just want to be clear that I don’t care who you are – whether you’re my bestfriend or if you have 75k followers on Instagram because of some clout that you thought might win you an award – not here, bud. Not with me judging, anyway. I don’t mean this in a rude way at all but if you’re in this for fame, I think you’re doing it for the wrong reason because you’ll always be disappointed when you don’t win. You should be doing it because you love it and as corny as it sounds – that attention and effort you put into your car will show just as your hunger for clout will show. With that said, I would never take an award away from a car that deserves it because the owner is wanting fame… I’m just saying that there’s always going to be someone that has done it slightly better than you and that’s just the way of the cards.

But I digress…

Gerard’s Spoon FK8 and Roel’s Varis FK8. Nice combo

And Roel’s full Varis FK8 with livery and all. He switched over to CE28’s now – nice white on white.

BI pass!

WRX  on Work  Emotions…

Civic Si with the Carbon Kevlar lip and gram lights from the Village Honda show a few weeks ago…

Pandem FRS on TE37V’s. This aero is still so wild…

Some rear shots too – Spoon…


First time seeing the Varis FK8 diffuser as well – looks super clean.

STI on Sakura Pink Gram Lights.

FK8 on TE37’s and a Voltex wing out back

Was this possibly the only VW that was at the show? Now that I’m thinking about it, it might have been hahaha

Yellow Varis STI on British Racing Green TE37’s. Not much has changed on this since it’s been done for a few years but it’s still great to see kicking around. I still dig the color combo.

Looks sweet!

I like the combo of colors used here – very risky but it turned out all good.

Kris’s Varis Evo X on Te37’s

ARC and Carbing goodies

Trung’s Voltex S2000 straight from the track…

Should I now implement a Rock Check or perhaps an Exhaust Shine check? LOL

Brought some souvenirs from the track with him lol

Mugen seats $$$

EVS tuning mirrors. Also some bug souvenirs from the track here as well…

BUT at least he got his barrels all cleaned LOL. I remember he tagged me in a few posts where his wheels were pretty much black after a trackday. Glad to see them back to white for the short time…

And I wouldn’t have even known unless I went to the other side, but he was rocking his bronze ones on the other side of the car. Looked cool!

This one was a pretty nostalgic one for me because growing up, I really loved the full Voltex hawkeye STI from Cusco/Tomei and this just reminded me of it.

Jonathon Rho’s new S2000 which was restored with some pretty rare parts. Looking super clean.

Alcon brakes!

This bagged Supra in the Mercari booth was insane…

Carbon barrels…

Forged carbon side mirrors

Sitting on the ground…

This was a cool shot – tires resting right on that liner.

Most of the music that day I think was coming from this BRZ? LOL or at least it sounded like it when we walked by…

Fake Hero NSX on kind of a baby/sky blue set of TE37’s

Taking a small break before we move onto more car pics…

At around 6:30, the team had us booked for a helicopter ride as well which was totally unexpected but so grateful for the opportunity. Not something I would’ve booked myself because I’m terrified of heights but this was an awesome experience.

The whip

The cockpit was surprisingly small…

As we took off – I got a shot of the hangars surrounding where the event was being held…

And I’m not gonna bore you all with all the aerial photos but thought these next few were worth showing – the Edmonton downtown skyline…

The stadium with a game going on – you can kind of see the crowd there…

The Stantec tower – one of the tallest buildings in Canada apparently?

Cholo shooting his shot lol

The next set of pics are for the teams/clubs and they were held in a second hangar just a few steps away from the first hangar where the vendors were. Originally, all cars were supposed to be in one hangar but the venue made a last minute change and so they were split. It still ended up working out well though.

STI on bronze Gram lights and aggressive canards

This Sienna won one of the top 10 as well – execution here was pretty dope and there were a lot of small little details that you had to really spend time looking for…

Weds Kranze Acuerdo… Dont’ see these everyday but they’re so good.

On the inside – plenty of JDM VIP to go around… DAD headrests and curtains…

Fiber optic starlight roofliner…

Awesome executive reclining seats with massagers

VIP table trays and a TV front and center…

The trunk air tank set up enclosed in a wooden and glass case

View from the trunk. So rad – great job.

Civic Si looking clean.

Rocket Bunny kitted BRZ

A pretty wild Camaro with LED’s all over…

Matte green wrapped STI

A pretty interesting wrap/livery for this BRZ. Looked cool in the light with some parts matte and some glossy it seemed…

An interesting lip I’ve never seen before on this STI with the large openings and then another lip/deck bolted underneath.

A bagged STI on Works…

This 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood on bags. There weren’t many domestics in the show but this one stood out nicely. Super clean wheels and interesting set up on air over hydraulics but still pretty dope.

This was interesting to see – I believe I saw this a few years ago unless that was a different build, but the oldschool Hyundai VIP builds had me feeling some type of way back when I had my LS. These could really pull off a cool look if done properly. This was pretty cool on Weds Kranze Cerberus.

An interesting wrap on this STI hatch – kind of like the ignition silver/sonic grey with some pearlescent look to it and on the fender, if you look closely you’ll see the Louis Vuitton pattern underneath.

Pretty clean Prelude on RPF1’s – you don’t see these much anymore unfortunately…

A clean Miata – it was tough to get good shots of this group because of how tightly parked they were but it’s as good as it gets…

I liked this Miata – sorry for the light halo lol. I should’ve taken off my filter.

FA5 Sedan on RPF1’s

GK Fit – I’ve always had a soft spot for Fits – the GK is a little odd looking (to me) but I still dig it.

This EK was cool to see. I think if it was completed and running, it would’ve come close for an award but there was just so much missing still that we couldn’t give it to an incomplete car. I do like the project and progress though!

Another FA5 on gram lights with a J’s Racing wing out back and Spoon mirrors. The FA/FG chassis was a tough one to build because of the lack of JDM parts for them unless this was converted to the JDM/CSX front. I remember I was pretty frustrated with the lack of parts for the FG so you had to find other parts to make it work.

Bride interior!

Clean FG in red

Joseph David’s FK8 on Advan TC’s and a full mugen kit including the grill garnishes and Varis rear fender trim. Looking slick!

Another Datsun with restoration in progress I assume…

Gerald James’ widebody WRX. This was super clean and we ended up driving back to YYC together for a little bit. This thing is static too. Pretty sweet.

The paint and body work was absolutely perfect. Everything fit great with no blemishes and gaps. Awesome work.

The S1R’s also in such mint condition.

Front shot of that Datsun…

Boost Blue Mugen FK8 and a Voltex wing out back and LED underglow…

Dunn’s bagged Civic Si – you might recall this from my set from Driven YYC as well. Dunn ended up taking one of the top 10 – not that I need to give reasoning but there are some cars that are built purely as show cars and this was the perfect example of that. Everything down to the smallest detail was in mint condition. No blemishes on the headlights or paint or in the lip of the rim – LED’s were configured properly and placed in spots that were hidden but effective. This is a good example of how to build a show car and understanding it and embracing it – there’s no confusion on whether he’s trying to be stance or race or whatever. Good job.

Dumped Civic Si – white on white.

Yellow BRZ on gram lights…

Civic Sedan wrapped in hulk green? LOL I don’t know the color but that’s just what it reminds me of… A pretty good build as well. BBK and all…

Classic blue and bronze. Can’t go wrong.

A pretty damn wide Hyundai Veloster. I liked the colour scheme and flow of everything. Looked rad.

Pretty cool TRD inspired livery on this FRS.

Bossman Carlo’s M3 parked in the corner of the venue…

Making my way back into the 1st hangar to get some extra shots I might have missed with Lito’s Datsun…

More shots of the Fake Hero NSX

Just thought I’d post a BI check for myself lol. I can’t pass or fail myself, so if anyone else BI checked me then you be the judge LOL. The TE37CR’s are more of a matte look originally but I felt that they were looking a little dull so JC threw out the suggestion to try out CarPro Perl on them – this is typically used as an interior protectant when mixed with distilled water or as a tire shine when used straight. I put some on the wheels (with water) and look at that fucking SHEEN. That’s a protip to make your matte wheels pop AND protect them a little bit if they’re not ceramic coated – which these are not yet.

I really enjoyed this widebody Varis Evo X Final Edition. This was probably one of my favourites of the show because of the execution and perfection of the bodywork. Everything was so mint – the only thing I wanted to see if there was any engine work but I don’t believe so…

Varis carbon goodness…

Love these Meister L1’s especially when they’re this aggressive. The matte black with gold hardware is perfect.

More carbon goodness…

Voltex wing out back signed by mr. Voltex himself…

A rear shot of it all.

Simple 86 on CE28’s

Near the end of the night, the guys were kind enough (again) to treat us to some Jollibee. Honestly it was one hell of a night with everything going on and all the stuff that they did behind the scenes – it often and almost always goes overlooked because nobody really sees that stuff. It takes a village to put something like this together and it’s long days and nights for days, weeks and even months to put a show like this together.

Award time!

Not everyone would’ve obviously seen the awards but these were all handmade – epoxy resin with pigment mixed in and wood on the inside. Pretty cool!

Carlo getting the awards ready…

Participants and visitors on-looking…

Congrats to everyone that took home an award! I just want to say that there was such a good turnout of quality cars and obviously not everyone can take home an award. If you came wanting an award and didn’t get one – you might know why you didn’t get one already and if you do, maybe it’s something to fix next time. If you don’t know, I wouldn’t lose sleep over it – you were likely on the list and someone just did it slightly better.

I just want to say that I know what it’s like to come to a show with the hope that you win an award. I’m no veteran but I’ve been in shows since 2008 and I can say that the “need” or “want” to get an award fades over time because you learn to just build your car the way you want it and sometimes you get to that point where you finally hit that sweet spot and people will notice. Building cars shouldn’t be a competition despite the fact that we hand out awards at car shows. It should really just be done to share the experience and the fun that comes with hanging out with friends and trying to come up with what to do next. Sometimes we miss and we go down the road of crazy bolt on flares that don’t fit or wings too large for any car to use functionally, but sometimes we get it and we ride that wave until the next trend comes.

At the end of the day – no hard feelings for anyone, please. Just enjoy the experience 🙂

Didn’t notice the midnight rev up shirts until this shot. Pretty cool LOL

That’s a wrap for my coverage. There’s so much coverage that I’m getting tagged in as we speak and so many different and cool perspectives for the show. I wish I had time to be creative but my purpose is to showcase the car in a shot that’s good enough for the blog. Other photographers have really taken car show photography to the next level though and I love it!

We ended up staying up till about 3AM that night drinking with the Esoteric boys but we were up and out by 9AM. LOL I’m not sure if JC is truly an early riser despite what he tells me but I’m up at 530-6AM most days but ended up sleeping in a tiny bit to 730AM on the Sunday… Either way, thankful that JC still dragged his ass out of bed to leave early lol

Filling up before leaving so we need the gas station shots…

That’s it, that’s all! Thanks folks! Enjoy!